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Scripture Reading: Jude 20-25
Recognize Spiritual Weakness
1. Spiritual weakness is real and challenges Christians. We must face it ourselves and help others who are weak (1 Cor. 16:13; Eph. 6:10).
2. What does it mean to be “spiritually weak?” (have little strength)
a. Weak in personal faith (Rom. 4:19). Rom. 8:1, 5-8:
b. Since spiritually minded is to be ruled by the Spirit… (strong)––
c. Worldly (fleshly) minded is to be ruled by the flesh (weak).
3. Causes, evidences, and remedies of spiritual weakness.
I. SOME CAUSES OF SPIRITUAL WEAKNESS.
A. Spiritual Immaturity (undeveloped), 1 Cor. 3:1-2.
1. New convert unskilled in the word, 1 Pet. 2:2 (Heb. 5:12-13).
2. Must grow in strength through word of God, 1 John 2:14.
B. Distractions of the Flesh (World), Matt. 26:41.
1. Temptations to sin attack our vulnerabilities, John 18:18.
2. Trials test faith and challenge our diligence, James 1:2-3.
3. Error prevents strength and leads to death, Gal. 5:1, 7.
C. Not Using God’s Word to Decide What is Right, 1 Cor. 2:14-16.
1. The spiritual person judges things by the “mind of Christ” (truth) and avoids condemnation by obeying the truth.
2. Failure to do so both cause and proof of weakness, 1 Cor. 11:30.
II. SOME SIGNS OF SPIRITUAL WEAKNESS.
A. Weak in Resistance Against Sin.
1. To temptation, Eph. 6:10, 13, 16 (cf. to complain, murmur, etc.).
a. Spiritually weak uses “everyone is weak” as his excuse.
b. Spiritual weak are tempted to blame others for weakness.
2. To error, Eph. 4:14. Weak ashamed, afraid, unable to defend.
B. Weak in Appetite for Spiritual Things, Matt. 5:6; John 6:27.
1. Craving, eagerness for righteousness, for Christ (bread of life).
2. Weak Christians have a good appetites for many other things (recreation, entertainment, movies, ballgames...)–lit. “eat them up.”
3. But little/no appetite for God’s word, worship, spiritual priorities, 1 Cor. 3:2; Matt. 6:33 (1 Tim. 4:7-8).
C. Failure to Realize Own Ability and Responsibility, Matt. 25:18.
1. When asked to help in the Lord’s work he replies, “I can’t.”
2. The strong says, “I’ll try” (Phil. 4:13).
III. WHY BE CONCERNED ABOUT SPIRITUAL WEAKNESS?
A. Spiritual Weakness Quickly Becomes Carnality, 1 Cor. 3:1-3.
1. Anti-spiritual (reject truth, Rom. 8:5, 7).
2. Weakness leads to willful sin, James 4:17; Heb. 10:26.
B. Spiritual Weakness is Overtaken by Sin, Gal. 6:1 (James 5:19-20).
-Spiritual weakness often becomes our excuse to keep sinning.
C. Spiritual Weakness is Contagious, Gal. 5:9.
1. It influences and discourages others (Num. 13:32-14:1).
2. “No one goes to heaven or hell by himself.”
IV. RESPONSES TO THE SPIRITUALLY WEAK (Luke 13:6-9).
A. Support the Weak, 1 Thess. 5:14. (We are our brother’s keeper.)
1. Don’t ignore or excuse weakness (exhort, encourage, rebuke).
2. Support (uphold): “to keep one’s self directly opposite to any one, hold to him firmly, cleave to, paying heed to him.”
3. Help them grow; Set good examples for them (Phil. 3:17).
B. Try to Restore the Weak Who Have Fallen, Gal. 6:1-2.
-Gentle teaching truth, correct in meekness, 2 Tim. 2:24-26.
C. Pray for the Weak, 1 Thess. 5:17.
1. Responsibility of the weak: Grow in personal faith (20-21).
2. Responsibility toward the weak: In mercy and compassion, help strengthen and save (22-23).
3. Rely on God who is able (dunamai, power) to keep (guard) us from stumbling (stand firm) and present us without blemish (strong) in His presence (24); Praise God (25).
By: Joe R. Price
Posted March 15, 2022